The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), in collaboration with the Expo School Programme, today unveiled the Climate Ambassadors Programme (CAP), a special initiative inviting high school students from across the UAE to step into the shoes of the climate negotiators attending COP28 at Expo City Dubai later this year.
Students take part in a simulation of a COP session by becoming Ambassadors for a selected country, where they learn about the impact of climate change in that country and work with their fellow Ambassadors to find solutions by drafting and amending action plans and negotiating a final consensus together to combat climate change.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, stressed the initiative’s strong underlying message and purpose:
“The UAE has long understood the critical role young people play in bringing about a more sustainable future for all. Initiatives like the Climate Ambassadors Programme are giving youth across the nation the tools and the platform to engage with climate change issues and decide for themselves the action we should take, in collaboration with their peers.”
“Make no mistake, we have seen first-hand that progress only comes through participation. The Climate Ambassadors Programme has been developed by the Ministry to give students in the UAE the chances to take part; to channel their overwhelming passion for sustainability; and to become a vital part of the solution.
CAP is further evidence of our commitment in the UAE to stage a highly inclusive climate change summit. All views matter, particularly those of our youth, the sustainability leaders of tomorrow and the future faces of global climate action.”
The MOCCAE-led project, in collaboration with the Expo School Programme, directly aligns with the Ministry’s strategic remit to raise awareness about climate change among the young generation; build youth capacities to address the issue, and promote youth participation in climate action and related decision-making.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, Expo City Dubai Authority, said:
“Humanity has a collective responsibility to overcome the challenges of climate change, and, via the Expo School Programme, we have witnessed how seriously the youth of the UAE take their responsibility as custodians of our planet. It is therefore our duty to help them reach their full potential, with learning opportunities that foster essential skills including critical thinking, debate, teamwork and leadership.
“As a clean and green destination, an education hub, and host of COP28, Expo City Dubai is proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on CAP, and to continue offering inspiring, meaningful, and transformative learning experiences for our future leaders – in the journey to an inclusive and solutions-led COP28 and beyond.”
Having started on February 20th, 2023 and hosted at Expo City Dubai, CAP replicates the COP environment through a unique and immersive educational experience where students become ambassadors of a selected country, learn about the impact of climate change, collaborate with other student representatives to find solutions together before drafting an action plan that will be shared with the school group.
CAP is designed to act as a ‘youth COP’ which allows them to adopt the roles and responsibilities of various international stakeholders involved in what will be one of the most significant multilateral events the UAE has ever hosted.
A report capturing the session Chair’s feedback on action plans and particularly impactful negotiation points is then shared with each school to allow both teachers and students to build on the platform created through their participation in CAP.
Welcoming students between 12 and 17 years old, CAP will hold a number of sessions in the lead-up to COP28. Registrations are open to schools across the UAE.
News Source: Emirates News Agency